MS or also labeled as disseminated sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that manifests itself with the inflammation of the inner lining of brain and spinal cord cells, which leads to permanent damage of the central nervous system. The main symptom is located in the damaged area and patients usually complain of numbness or e sensation of tingling. If the weakness is more severe multiple sclerosis leads to paralysis, urinary incontinence.
Other common multiple sclerosis symptoms are the onset of spasticity and the impairment of vocal cords, called dysphonia. But there are also many other external and internal signs and symptoms of MS. With all this being said, you might ask yourself, how could Botox help patients of disseminated sclerosis? Isn’t it used in cosmetic surgeries for reducing wrinkles? Well, you’ll be surprised that type A of the purified botulinum toxin was first used in the 1980s to treat strabismus.
Botox’s medical properties include an effect of muscle weakening, which is beneficial in some health conditions that cause increased muscle activity, such as spasticity generated by multiple sclerosis. This is why it became, later on, also a cosmetic surgery solution for wrinkles. Do note though, that the non-purified version of the botulinum bacteria is responsible for the Botulism disease, which leads to general muscle paralysis.
Botox and Multiple Sclerosis
This particular brand of the purified botulinum toxin is used to efficiently relieve several symptoms of multiple sclerosis:
1. Spasticity: causes stiffness and muscle rigidity. Depending on the location of the condition the patient loses its range of motion, has difficulties with walking and other common movements, can experience speech disorder. Pain can also accompany this multiple sclerosis side effect. Botox shots are recommended to sufferers which have spasticity problems in hands or legs. The treatment will improve their mobility and prevent painful muscle spasms from occurring. Botulinum toxin injections are especially recommended to patients that have trouble ingesting oral medications for relieving spasticity symptoms.
2. Urinary Incontinence: Multiple sclerosis patients can often develop the symptom of an overactive bladder, which is a form of urinary incontinence. Sudden contractions of the muscle located in the wall of the urinary bladder cause involuntary pass of urine. Botox injections can relieve these unpleasant contractions.
3. Dysphonia: Problems with vocal cords can also arise in MS patients. Their voice becomes hoarse and speaking trouble is noticed, because of vocal cord rigidity. Small amounts of botox injected, relaxes the cords and dysphonia is cured.
Botox Injections for Multiple Sclerosis
The shot treatment plan is individualized from patient to patient. Some improve after two or three injections while others need up to a dozen until spasticity is relieved. The effect of a shot is not instant. The relaxation of the muscle is noticed only after a few days, while it can take for several weeks until the full effect of the botulinum toxin kicks in. After another 3 months the benefits fade away and the shots have to be repeated.
Botox Shots Side Effects
As with any other shot potential side effects of a Botox injection could lead to pain and bleeding at the puncture site. In rare cases infections could also occur. If the treatment is applied by an experienced medical staff Botox shots are considered safe. If large amount of the toxin are injected, there is a risk of overdose that could lead to temporarily breathing or swallowing problems. Another rare side effect can set in for a few days, which resembles flu-like symptoms. An overall state of fatigue and muscle soreness.